fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "huge sum of money" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Attahiru Yusuf <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2019 08:43:56 +0100
I Am Dr Aly Mohammed, an Accountant with the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (N.N.P.C.). I Headed A Seven-Man Tenders Board In Charge
Of Contract Awards And Payment Approvals. I Came To Know Of You In My
Search For A Reliable And Reputable Person To Handle A Very
confidential Transaction Which Involves The Transfer Of A Huge Sum Of
Money To A Foreign Account. There Were Series Of Contracts Executed By
A Consortium Of Mufti-Nationals In The Oil Industry In Favour Of
N.N.P.C. The Original Value Of This Contracts Were Deliberately
Over-Invoiced To The Sum Of USD$30,000,000.00 (Thirty Million United
States Dollars)this Amount Has Been Approved And Is Now Ready To Be
Transferred, Being That The Companies That Actually Executed These
Contracts Have Been Fully Paid And The Projects Officially
Consequently, My Colleagues And I Are Willing To Transfer The Total
Amount To Your Account For Subsequent Disbursement, Since We, Civil
Servants Are Prohibited By The Code Of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service
Law) From Operating And/or-opening Foreign Accounts In Our Names.
Needless To Say, The Trust Reposed On You At This Juncture Is
In Return, We Have Agreed To Offer You 25% Of The Transferred Sum,
While 10% Shall Be Set Aside For Incidental Expenses (Internal And
External) Between Parties In The Course Of The Transaction.
You Will Be Mandated To Remit The Balance To Other Accounts In Due
Course. Modalities Have Been Worked Out At The Highest Level Of The
Ministry Of Finance And The Central Bank Of Nigeria (C.B.N.) For The
Immediate Transfer Of The Funds Within 14 Working Days Subject To Your
Satisfaction Of The Above Stated Terms. Our Assurance Is That Your
Role Is Risk Free. To Accord This Transaction The Legality It Deserves
And For Mutual Security Of The Funds The Whole Approval Procedures
Will Be Officially And Legally Processed With Your Name Or The Name Of
Any Company You May Nominate As The Benefice Beneficiary.
Once More, I Want You To Understand That Having Put In Over Ten Years
In The Civil
Service Of My Country, I Am Averse To Having My Image And Career
Dented. This Matter Should Therefore Be Treated With The Utmost
Secrecy And Urgency It Deserves. Kindly Expedite Action As We Are
Behind Schedule To Enable Us Include This Transfer In This Batch Which
Would Constitute The First Quarter Payments For The 2019 Financial
Possible For More Details Via email; email@example.com
Dr Aly Mohammed